Is Euthanasia The Answer

m.brent.rowe
  • #1
HI guys, my first fish, a dwarf gourami named sonny is about one year old now and has taken a turn for the worse. I noticed that after I had him for a couple months that his spine was deformed. It had a noticeable curvature in it that obviously wasn't natural. At the time it didn't affect his swimming ability at all. However about a month ago I noticed that he was swimming a little erratically, but everything else seemed fine. He was still eating healthily and other than a few odd movements he acted normal. Now about a week ago it got much worse. He can't seem to balance himself anymore so his head is always pointing downwards and he can't control himself anymore. I've found him stuck between decorations and plants in the aquariums several times and he's even started to lost some scales, I imagine from bumping into things. I hadn't seen him eat anymore either. So a few days ago I decided to quarantine him in a separate part of the tank away from anything he could get caught in and so I could monitor if he's eating. Sadly I haven't seen him eat anything in days. I really doubt that there is anything else I can do for him but I would gladly take anyone's advice. Thanks guys, as I said, this if my first fish and I would rather not have to euthanise him but at the same time I'd want to end the pain he's obviously in.
 
0morrokh
  • #2
That sounds like whirling disease, or else a slowly progressing internal infection. If you can I'd try to get some Kanaplex. It's a super strong antibiotic that helps with internal infections. I can't say without seeing your fish but it may be a long shot by this point, but you still might want to try treating him and see if it helps at all. It's your judgement what would be best for him.

Btw you probably have to get kanaplex online...here's where I got mine
 
m.brent.rowe
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Thanks for the advice. I looked into whirling disease. It seems like it could be the culprit. I just worry that given his symptoms and the severity that it might be too late for him. I think I'm just going to quarantine him and observe him for a few days while I wait for the euthanase from Drs Foster Smith to come. I just really worry about his quality of life and I don't want to take a risk of him infecting my other fish just in case this is whirling disease. Thanks again dude.
 
m.brent.rowe
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
I dunno, the more I think about it the more I'm willing to try the Kanaplex. I don't have a picture readily available (I'm at work) but I can describe how he looks. His fins are fine with no tears or anything in them. His color is still vibrant and hasn't faded at all since he began this bout. The only visible sign of a problem is his spine which has been the same for about ten months now. It makes almost a 90 degree curve starting about a eight or a sixth of an inch from the end of his body, maybe more. It's definitely noticeable. He's still a big boy but he is defintely thinner than he was. I think that covers everything.
 
0morrokh
  • #5
Wow he's been showing symptoms for that long? He must be an extremely tough fish or else the case is mild. If he's held on this long might be worth a try treating him.

For the future...it's better if you start treating as soon as symptoms show up rather than waiting for the disease to become critical. Next time you see any change in the fish's behavior or appearance, if you aren't sure what to do then post about it. Don't feel bad about not treating your gourami earlier though, we all make mistakes when starting out.

From the symptoms you stated I'm 99.9% sure it's whirling disease. The disease is supposed to be incurable but it's still worth a try. I actually currently have some fish I just got who came down with what I'm pretty sure is whirling disease (along with other complications), and the one who started swimming erratically completely recovered his swimming ability after a couple rounds of kanamycin. However he still is sick with other symptoms so there's no guarantees. It's possible he'll otherwise recover but the spinal damage will be permanent--however he could still live a comfortable life if the damage doesn't prevent him from functioning.

Keep us updated.
 
COBettaCouple
  • #6
kanaplex could help him some, but whirling disease unfortunately is hard to beat. You'd have to make the call on if it would be worth it to him to go through the stress of kanaplex for the chance to recover since you can see how he is. I think we'd try anything we could before going with euthanase, unless there was a reason not to.

Another possibility is fish TB, but with his color good I'm not sure it's much of a possibility.
 
m.brent.rowe
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
I will keep you guys updated and look into meds. Hmmm I'm gonna have a time with this though because my quarantine tank is currently in use. I got a new betta about two and a half weeks ago and I was planning on keeping him in my quarantine tank and hoping that I could get a new tank established and not have a fish get sick since I have only once before had problems with sickness in my fish.

Anyways let me ask you guys something. In the tank that my gourami is coming out of are also four white cloud minnows, one neon tetra, one oto, and three cory cats. Do you think it would be okay to put the betta in there with them? I don't really know that he'll be aggressive. I got him because he was so small he's very low key compared to my first betta lol. Is that a risk worth taking so that I can use his tank for quarantining the gourami?
 
0morrokh
  • #8
I doubt it's tb, mostly because the fish is still alive. Also tb tends to cause the spine to curve down (looks as if the tail is weighted), where whirling dis. tends to cause the spine to curve sideways (like an S shape viewed from the top).

I'm the type who would go for treatment until I was sure the fish was past any hope of recovery, but of course we can't decide that without knowing and seeing the fish. If you decide to euthanize him that's not a bad or good thing, just your own judgement on what's best.


EDIT: I posted the above before seeing your new post.
 
m.brent.rowe
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
I'm going to try medicine to see if helps out any. Also do you know if DFS sells kanamycin under a brand name or something? I don't know that I saw it or not when I just looked.
 
COBettaCouple
  • #10
If it were just the oto & corys, it would work but those minnows and tetra with the Betta probably would get nippy pretty quick with as much chance of damage to your betta as the minnows & tetra.

I would recommend a basic quarantine tank for the gourami. Even just a bare tank with a filter & heater. The meds would end the cycle for the betta's tank too.

Kanaplex is one product that I know of that you'd be looking for.
Anyways let me ask you guys something. In the tank that my gourami is coming out of are also four white cloud minnows, one neon tetra, one oto, and three cory cats. Do you think it would be okay to put the betta in there with them? I don't really know that he'll be aggressive. I got him because he was so small he's very low key compared to my first betta lol. Is that a risk worth taking so that I can use his tank for quarantining the gourami?
 
0morrokh
  • #11
Ok to answer your new post.

I would definitely not put a Betta in the tank with a neon because they tend to be nippy. OT...I would get several more neons and otos cause they are unhappy alone, they need to shoal to feel secure.

To set up a cheap instant q tank...get a 5 or 10 gal tank or get a clear rubbermaid type container of around that size (as a side note, if you get a container of, say 12 gals make sure to count out an even 10gals of water so you can dose meds more easily). Get a 25-50 watt heater (25 only for 5 gals if your house is pretty warm). Get a cheap small hob filter. Instead of new media, put some of the used filter media from your big tank into the filter, but no carbon (which will remove meds).
 
m.brent.rowe
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
Hmmmm I'll see what I can do. The only other tank I have available is the tank I used for my first betta which is only 2.5 gallons. I have a small hydor heater which I don't really like and a palm filter for it. Is that way too small? It seems like it to me.
 
0morrokh
  • #13
Gosh I keep posting just as you're posting a new question!

I'm going to try medicine to see if helps out any. Also do you know if DFS sells kanamycin under a brand name or something? I don't know that I saw it or not when I just looked.

The only brand names of kanamycin I know of are Kanaplex and Kanacyn.


Ok I see you've added a new post! Ahh I can't keep up...

The gourami needs to be quarintined, so if the 2.5 is the only possible way to do so then it'll have to work. But it's not ideal because dosing will be difficult (most med doses are per 10 gals) and water quality will be harder to maintain.
 
COBettaCouple
  • #14
the heater & palm filter could be used in a rubbermaid kind of container that you can pick up for $4-5 at walmart. It would give more room and we have a stack of them that we used for the move here and keep as emergency temporary or hospital tanks if we need them. We've run that setup successfully even with fry.

Kanacyn is another product with kanamycin in it.

A 10 gallon glass tank at walmart is $10. You could run the palm filter and heater in that even.
Hmmmm I'll see what I can do. The only other tank I have available is the tank I used for my first betta which is only 2.5 gallons. I have a small hydor heater which I don't really like and a palm filter for it. Is that way too small? It seems like it to me.
 
m.brent.rowe
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
Ok to answer your new post.

I would definitely not put a Betta in the tank with a neon because they tend to be nippy. OT...I would get several more neons and otos cause they are unhappy alone, they need to shoal to feel secure.

To set up a cheap instant q tank...get a 5 or 10 gal tank or get a clear rubbermaid type container of around that size (as a side note, if you get a container of, say 12 gals make sure to count out an even 10gals of water so you can dose meds more easily). Get a 25-50 watt heater (25 only for 5 gals if your house is pretty warm). Get a cheap small hob filter. Instead of new media, put some of the used filter media from your big tank into the filter, but no carbon (which will remove meds).

Yeah I know about the oto and tetra. The oto has actually done very well. He's about a year old as well but I'm sure would be much happier with more of his kind. Same with the tetra. I'm limited kinda by the size of my main tank for now. I worry more about the oto because he hides a lot. He looks very healthy and I've given him plenty of cover but I'm sure he'd come out more if there were other otos. And the neon plays and acts with the white clouds and acts almost as if he were one of them.

About the quarantine tank. I think I may just end up getting another ten gallon from the store. My area really sucks right now because I don't have many of the things I need readily available. Truthfully the quickest I could have a quarantine tank set up is on Friday. And the only pet store around here is petco... and I hate dealing with them. Even if he doesn't make it I think it's worth it if I at least gave it a try. Thanks for all the help you guys.

*Edit*

Sorry for all the quickly added posts. I guess I had just given up hope on him and now that there is a faint glimmer I'm getting excited. Anyways I have a larger hang on back filter I can use for this tank. Just to verify though, Is it better that I not use any carbon and just some biological media from my larger tank? I ask since the carbon would cancel out the meds. And I may just bite the bullet and get an appropriate heater for that tank. I'd rather get another submersible like on my other tanks but I'll get one of the crappy ones wal mart sells to suffice for now. I just don't see that little one making the grade for ten gallons.

*Edit*

And yes I can set it up in the morning when I get home from work. I know this sounds a little selfish but I probably won't get the ten gallon until later tomorrow because I need to sleep first, I work third shift so by the time I get home I'm exhausted.
 
0morrokh
  • #16
I just scrolled through DFS's antibiotics and didn't see anything with kanamycin.

EDIT: I see you've posted again.
Could you set up the 2.5 immediately, and keep him in that until you can set up a bigger q tank? Whatever you do you don't want him to be left in the tank, cause if he dies in there the disease will spread to the other fish.
 
COBettaCouple
  • #17
No problem.. we understand how it feels to have a chance when it looked hopeless. Definitely no carbon anywhere near the tank being treated. Honestly, I don't ever like to use carbon unless it's to clear a tank of meds. We lost my favorite Betta in August because I used to run carbon and forgot about it when I started treating him. He died before he actually got treated. Plus, Dino explained carbon usage to me and it really only is needed when clearing tank water of meds or tannins or something.

Anyway.. is one place I know of to get a product with kanamycin. I'm not sure if i've ever seen it at petco or petsmart and i'm sure walmart wouldn't carry it.

Those tetra submersibles that you can't set the temp on probably wouldn't keep the tank 78 like they say.. maybe 74-76. Of course if you order the meds, you could add a heater to the order. Pet Mountain has a lot of good ones.

Sorry for all the quickly added posts. I guess I had just given up hope on him and now that there is a faint glimmer I'm getting excited. Anyways I have a larger hang on back filter I can use for this tank. Just to verify though, Is it better that I not use any carbon and just some biological media from my larger tank? I ask since the carbon would cancel out the meds. And I may just bite the bullet and get an appropriate heater for that tank. I'd rather get another submersible like on my other tanks but I'll get one of the crappy ones wal mart sells to suffice for now. I just don't see that little one making the grade for ten gallons.

*Edit*

And yes I can set it up in the morning when I get home from work. I know this sounds a little selfish but I probably won't get the ten gallon until later tomorrow because I need to sleep first, I work third shift so by the time I get home I'm exhausted.
 
m.brent.rowe
  • Thread Starter
  • #18
Hey I just had an idea and it's gonna save me some money and take about as much time. I can just get my divider and put it back in the bigger tank so I can add my betta to it and it'll probably be happier in there anyways. The divider kept the current from the filter away from my last betta and it thrived in there. So I think that's what I'll do and just make the big tank it's permanent home. Then I can put the gourami in the betta's old tank. It seems that would work best for now. I don't really wanna have to bother with setting up a new tank while I'm already limited on space and electrical outlets.

*Edit*

Okay I went to pet mountain for the medicine. They didn't sell the euthanese so I went ahead and got that DFS along with some other things I was gonna need eventually so the price wasn't a huge deal. I've decided that if the medicine doesn't work and I can tell he's in pain that I will euthanize him as a last resort. But I'm gonna give this all I can. I honestly hope this is a problem of disease so I can fix it, or attempt to. But part of me believes he may have just been born like that and I being the budding aquarist never noticed it. I just hope he makes it in time for the medicine to get here. It's happening at the worse time to be honest because I know shipping will get bumped back because of New Years Day. Oh well I hope the little bugger hangs in there.
 
COBettaCouple
  • #19
Well DFS ships FedEx ground and they'll be doing good this week. With them, the odds are good that you'll get it before New Years. Best of luck with your guy and I hope he responds to the meds.
 
m.brent.rowe
  • Thread Starter
  • #20
Just a quick update. He's still the same as he was yesterday. I moved the betta into the big tank with the divider and I got the sick one in the quarantine tank. So now it's just a waiting game til the meds come.
 
0morrokh
  • #21
Just a quick update. He's still the same as he was yesterday. I moved the betta into the big tank with the divider and I got the sick one in the quarantine tank. So now it's just a waiting game til the meds come.

That's a great idea, I didn't think of a divider. What temp is the big tank at? If it isn't already you'll probably want to raise the temp to 78 or so for the Betta, and that should be fine for the other fish too.
 
m.brent.rowe
  • Thread Starter
  • #22
It fluctuates in the 76-79 range so I'm sure it will be fine. Thanks
 
0morrokh
  • #23
Sorry to get OT, but what brand of heater are you using? The temp shouldn't be changing that much on a regular basis.
 
m.brent.rowe
  • Thread Starter
  • #24
It's a visitherm stealth. I was debating about going into the fluctuation in the last post. My bedroom where the aquarium is located was an addition to our home and it has no insulation. So the temperature hardly remains constant during the day. Even with the central heat on in the house my room is at least a few degrees colder than other rooms. Anyways I think that's the main reason. I bought two of the visitherm stealths from DFS and keep one in the big tank and one in the quarantine tank and they both fluctuate.
 
m.brent.rowe
  • Thread Starter
  • #25
Well the gourami is still alive and looks good to be honest. I'm just waiting on the medicine to come now.
 
COBettaCouple
  • #26
Great news ;D We're waiting on an order too. After the Christmas rush, everyone seems to be backed up on shipping.
Well the gourami is still alive and looks good to be honest. I'm just waiting on the medicine to come now.
 
m.brent.rowe
  • Thread Starter
  • #27
Well the medicine has come and I've administered two doses now. Tuesday I'll give the final dose I'm supposed to give. To this point there's been no change in him. I honestly believe that this is just a birth defect catching up with him. I really don't know how much longer I can watch him like this.
 
COBettaCouple
  • #28
I'm sorry to hear that he's not responded to the meds yet. I still hope he will.
 
m.brent.rowe
  • Thread Starter
  • #29
Well I gave the last dose of the medicine today. I don't know what to do. If anything it seems like his condition has gotten worse. He's very lethargic now. I have the euthanase and I came close to doing it last night but I couldn't bring myself to do it.
 

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